Use Gusto to replace cheese in a formulation and maintain all the cheesy goodness while improving nutrition

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Rich, flavorful and savory cheese sauces and soups are sought after by consumers as the ultimate comfort food, yet the high sodium content found in many applications is a top concern among health-conscious consumers, falling only behind sugar. When they also consider the high fat and calories in typical cheesy formulations, they’ll think twice about indulging.

All-natural Grande Gusto is an innovative, clean-label ingredient that maintains the signature velvety texture and umami flavor of cheese while improving nutrition.

Food formulators can reduce the use of natural and processed cheese to improve profits and minimize storage and handling requirements while still ensuring the same cheesy goodness that consumers have come to love.

Achieve savory and zesty cheese flavors in:

  • Cheese sauces
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Nacho cheese
  • Queso sauces
  • Cheese soups
  • And more!

Key Product Attributes

  • Reduces the use of cheese
  • Enriches texture and mouthfeel
  • Rich dairy flavor with savory notes
  • Reduces sodium, fat and calories
  • Complies with clean label initiatives
  • Shelf-stable and convenient storage and handling
  • 18-month shelf life
  • Freeze-thaw stable
  • Durable and easily incorporated into existing food production systems


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Certifications & Labeling

  • SQF Certifications for Food Safety and Quality
  • USPH Grade A
  • USDA
  • EU
  • Kosher Dairy
  • Halal
  • Ingredient statement: “Reduced Lactose Whey. Contains Milk.”


Frequently Asked Questions

Gusto is derived from the cheesemaking process. The lactose is removed from the whey through physical separation means. Spray drying is then used to remove water without the use of chemicals, resulting in a clean label manufacturing process.

When surveyed, roughly half of consumers indicate they are “very receptive” to purchasing reduced lactose whey. It is one of the topmost appealing ingredients to purchase and is more likely to be perceived as “clean label” than several other ingredients, trailing only behind cornstarch and whey protein concentrate.

Grande Gusto has savory notes that shine through even though there’s reduced sodium, fat and calories, allowing for savory flavors that are ideal for cheesy formulas. 

In one controlled study, Grande Gusto went up against a full-fat macaroni and cheese formulation. The application with Grande Gusto had 30% less cheese, yet outperformed the control for taste, creaminess and nutrition.

At Grande Custom Ingredients Group, all of our products are made following a strict chain of custody and production process that uses zero chemical modifications, additives, preservatives, or antibiotics. These all-natural and sustainable products are recognizable by consumers.

With Grande Gusto, food manufacturers can lower ingredient costs on formulations like cheese soups and sauces by replacing the cheese. Its stable pricing eliminates concerns over volatile market prices of cheese. In addition, because Grande Gusto is a dry ingredient that is shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration, it helps to minimize energy use, storage costs and spoilage.

Many alternative ingredients used in cheese formulations, such as potassium chloride, yeast extracts and MSG can result in off flavors and pooling or gritty and unappetizing textures. They’re also not perceived as clean label by many consumers. Because of Grande Gusto’s proprietary process, it not only maintains a formulation’s natural consistency, it actually improves texture and mouthfeel when compared to cheese in a controlled study.

Grande Gusto is ideal for a variety of cheesy applications, including:

  • Cheese sauces
  • Macaroni & cheese
  • Nacho cheese
  • Queso sauces
  • Cheese soups
  • And more!

Want to Learn More?

Consumer Perceptions of Sodium

Consumers are intensifying their search for healthy foods, and sodium is coming under added scrutiny. So, how are food formulators to achieve a savory flavor that doesn’t have a chemical taste that turns them off – especially when it comes to their favorites, like creamy mac ‘n’ cheese?

Download our guide, Increased Consumer Demand for Reduced Sodium, to learn more.